David LaFrance, The Painter’s Palette, 2016 (Artist Website, Gallery Website)
Wood and pigment
20” x 30” x 18”

Makes a splash but doesn’t
jump. Is that a wing? A tail?

It’s hard to tell. She laps milk
from a clamshell with her fiveforked

idiom. Her crest and
jowls quiver; her horns twist

too many times around themselves
and often she pauses as if

she’s out-paced her subtle
self, but no: this is just one of

many moments not to know.
Somehow the subtle meat

self-pollinates with a sort of
tail not meant for mating.

In times of hate or great
migration, her subtle bones

slacken to newly grounded
shadow. Here she’s not scared,

just not so sure her kin have
built the path in relevant relation

to the sun and other bodies,
both celestial and un.

Sarah Wolfson